Choose Your Friends Carefully
When our children were school age, the start of each school year triggered in my husband and me the process of assessing the progress of past years and making plans and setting goals for the new one. For each of our daughters, this included the typical areas like academics, sports and the arts in various forms, but we also were intentional regarding equally significant matters of spiritual and social growth.
An important part of social development is learning how to navigate the complex issue of relationships at their various levels. Many people are surprised to learn the Bible has quite a lot to say about the subject. Here are just a few of God’s directives for healthy friendships:
- The righteous should choose his friends carefully, for the way of the wicked leads them astray. (Prov. 12:26)
- Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits. (I Corinthians 15:33)
- He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed. (Prov. 13:20)
- Flee from the presence of a foolish man, when you do not perceive in him the lips of knowledge. (Prov. 14:7)
- Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man do not go, lest you learn his ways and set a snare for your soul. (Prov. 22:24-25)
Recently I happened upon a writing that summarizes relational principles quite nicely. Although the version I have indicates the author is “unknown,” he or she certainly shares wisdom worth heeding!
- Pastor Donna Larson
The Company You Keep
Tell me who your best friends are, and I will tell you who you are. If you run with wolves, you will learn how to howl. But, if you associate with eagles, you will learn how to soar to great heights. A mirror reflects a man’s face, but what he is really like is shown by the kinds of friends he chooses.
The simple but true fact of life is that you become like those with whom you closely associate – for the good and the bad. The less you associate with some people, the more your life will improve. Any time you tolerate mediocrity in others, it increases your mediocrity. An important attribute in successful people is their impatience with negative thinking and negative acting people.
As you grow, your associates will change. Some of your friends will not want you to go on. They will want you to stay where they are. Friends that don’t help you climb will help you to crawl. Your friends will choke your vision or stretch your dreams. Those that don’t increase you will eventually decrease you.
As parents, we can build into our children a picture of and the desire for healthy relationships by helping them learn these truths, and then set a good example by living them ourselves.